What if the police arrest me and don’t let me leave?

The police are allowed take you into when they you. If they take you into custody, the police must either:

  • release you with or without conditions and give you a court date, or
  • bring you before a judge or a justice of the peace for a bail hearing within 24 hours to decide if you should be released.

If you're given conditions to follow by the police, judge, or justice of the peace, you must follow them until the end of your criminal matter or until you have the conditions changed in court.

You can be taken to jail and face new criminal charges if you don't follow the conditions. 

If you're on the weekend, or a judge or justice of the peace is not available for a , you may be in police custody longer than 24 hours.

If you're drunk in public, the police can take you into custody until you become sober. The police will usually keep you at the police station overnight and let you go in the morning.

If you're under the age of 18 and you're arrested, the police must contact your parent or guardian.  

If you're over the age of 18, you are an adult. If you are an adult you do not have the right to phone family or friends when the police hold you in custody. But if you ask politely, the police will usually allow you to make this type of phone call.

What you should do

If you're arrested, ask to talk to a lawyer right away. All you have to say is, “I want to talk to a lawyer.”

Use your right to remain silent. If the police question you and you don't want to answer, tell them. Politely say, “I do not wish to give a statement or answer any questions.” 

If the police do not release you, you should start thinking about a plan. This might mean asking someone called a to bail you out. Your lawyer or will help you prepare the plan and will present it to the court.

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